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precision prebiotics for gut health

Why we need a Precision Prebiotic supplement

Cura Precision Prebiotic™ is a cutting-edge precision prebiotic supplement made up of three clinically tested, non-digestible fibres (known as oligosaccharides) that can increase microbial diversity and selectively feed the beneficial, keystone bacteria that live in our microbiome.

Our main keystone bacteria are known as Akkermansia muciniphila, Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, and Bifidobacteria. These bacteria are called “keystone bacteria” by the scientific community as they are foundational to the formation of a healthy microbiome.

Think about the arch doorway construction in an old building, at the top of each curved archway, there is a large wedge-shaped stone – this is the keystone – the stone that creates the rigidity and structure of the archway. Without the keystone in place, the archway is not as structurally strong and is much easier to knock down.  It’s the same in our gut, without the keystone bacteria being in place the integrity and health of our gut are much weaker.

Prebiotics are the non-digestible fibres that feed the bacteria living in our gut. However, most prebiotics on the market feed both harmful and beneficial gut bacteria, which can make digestive issues much worse.

Microbial Diversity

Keystone bacteria like Akkermansia muciniphila, Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, and Bifidobacteria are extremely important for human health, but their populations can be easily diminished by antibiotic medication, stress, diet, glyphosate and other environmental toxins

A. Muciniphila

  • A. muciniphila plays a vital role in metabolism and has been shown to promote fat loss.
  • Low levels of A. muciniphila have been associated with obesity, diabetes, liver disease, cardiometabolic diseases and low-grade inflammation.

F. Prausnitzii

  • F. prausnitzii can increase the production of butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid that maintains healthy intestinal cells.
  • Low levels of F. prausnitzii have been associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) like Chron’s and Ulcerative Colitis, coeliac disease and chronic constipation.

Bifidobacteria

  • Bifidobacteria can also increase butyrate production and promote lean body mass.
  • Low levels of Bifidobacteria have been associated with obesity, diabetes, coeliac disease, allergic asthma, dermatitis, IBD, chronic fatigue syndrome and psoriasis.

Functional Fibers

Cura Precision Prebiotic™ contains a proprietary blend of functional fibres (non-digestible oligosaccharides) that specifically feed these keystone bacteria. This unique formula is made up of clinically-tested non-digestible oligosaccharides, derived from non-GMO green and gold kiwi fruit, non-GMO corn cob, and rBST-free cow’s milk.

Source of Non-Digestible Oligosaccharide          Prebiotic Fibre
Non-GMO Green & Gold Kiwifruit (Actazin®)           Fructooligosaccharides (FOS)
Non-GMO Corn Cob (Pre Ticx®)           Xylooligosaccharides (XOS)
rBST-free Cow’s Milk (Bimuno®)          Galactooligosaccharides (GOS)

Increasing populations of these protective bacteria is an integral part of reinforcing a healthy gut microbiome. Findings from clinical studies using these oligosaccharide ingredients are impressive:

  • FOS increased populations of A. muciniphila by 8,000% in 5 weeks
  • FOS increased populations of F. prausnitzii by 100% in 4 weeks
  • GOS increased populations of Bifidobacteria by 10% in 6 weeks
  • XOS increased populations of Bifidobacteria by 9% in 8 weeks

Nourish the powerful ecosystem in your gut with Cura Precision Prebiotic™ today!

THESE PRODUCTS ARE NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR OR HEALTHCARE PRACTITIONER BEFORE USE.

RESEARCH

BLATCHFORD P, STOKLOSINSKI H, EADY S, ET AL. Consumption of kiwifruit capsules increases Faecalibacterium prausnitzii abundance in functionally constipated individuals: a randomised controlled human trial. J Nutr Sci. 2017; 6: e52.

EVERARD A, LAZAREVIC V, DERRIEN M, ET AL. Responses of Gut Microbiota and Glucose and Lipid Metabolism to Prebiotics in Genetic Obese and Diet-Induced Leptin-Resistant Mice. Diabetes. 2011 Nov; 60(11): 2775–2786.

YANG J, SUMMANEN PH, HENNING SM, ET AL. Xylooligosaccharide supplementation alters gut bacteria in both healthy and prediabetic adults: a pilot study. Front Physiol. 2015; 6: 216.

COLLADO MC, DERRIEN M, ISOLAURI E, DE VOS WM, SALMINEN S. Intestinal integrity and Akkermansia muciniphila, a mucin-degrading member of the intestinal microbiota present in infants, adults, and the elderly. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2007;73: 7767–7770.

DEPEINT F, TZORTZIS G, VULEVIC J, ET AL. Prebiotic evaluation of a novel galactooligosaccharide mixture produced by the enzymatic activity of Bifidobacterium bifidum NCIMB 41171, in healthy humans: a randomized, double-blind, crossover, placebo-controlled intervention study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008;87:785-91.

VULEVIC J, JURIC A, TZORTZIS G, AND GIBSON GR. Mixture of trans-Galactooligosaccharides Reduces Markers of Metabolic Syndrome and Modulates the Fecal Microbiota and Immune Function of Overweight Adults. J Nutr. 2013;143(3):324-31.

CHELAKKOT C, CHOI Y, KIM DK, ET AL. Akkermansia muciniphila-derived extracellular vesicles influence gut permeability through the regulation of tight junctions. Experimental & Molecular Medicine. 2018;50:e450.

Tagged digestive healthfibrefunctional fibresgut healthkeystone bacterianutritionoligosaccharidesprebiotic

Enzymes: the hidden secret to healthy digestion

By Leyla El Moudden

Eating healthy food is the body’s primary way of getting energy and nutrition into the body. Digestion is the process the body uses to release that nutrition. Without digestion, a healthy fruit like orange is just an orange. Through digestion, an orange is converted into vitamin C, folic acid, potassium and fibre. That vitamin C, folic acid, potassium and fibre nourish every cell in our body, giving us vitality and strength. Eating food is only a small part of the health story. It is the digesting of food that makes all the difference.

The work of digesting food is done by digestive enzymes. Once we understand how important digestion is to health, we can start to understand why we need to take very good care of our digestive system, and pay attention to any bloating, cramping or wind that follows eating.

When we chew, we complete the first stage of digestion by breaking up food into smaller parts. Nutrients and minerals in food are so small they can only be viewed under a microscope. Our food must reach this microscopic level of breakdown before it can give us any nutritional benefit. After we swallow, we no longer have teeth or physical tools to blend the food. Instead, our bodies use stomach acid and digestive enzymes. Chewed food is broken down in the stomach into a fluid called chyme. It is then sent into the small intestine, broken down even further, and sent through the bloodstream to nourish our body. So, what are digestive enzymes, and what do they do for us?       

Protease enzyme

Protease breaks down protein like meat, fish and eggs. Protein is what our bodies need to keep our muscles and organs working properly, Protein is used to build organs like our heart, and our blood is also made out of protein.

A sign that we may not digest protein well is that we crave meat. When we are digesting protein well, we stay fuller for longer. Food cravings and hunger pangs for meat, fish, or eggs could signal that we need to absorb more protein.  Another sign that we are not getting enough protein is that we feel hungry soon after a meal, or we feel like the food we’ve eaten stays in our stomach for too long.

To digest proteins, our bodies use a group of enzymes called proteases. The body naturally makes proteases because protein is essential for health. Proteases can also be found in fruits like pineapple and papaya, which contain small amounts of plant proteases to help us digest. This is why we often see meals with protein and fruit together, like gammon and pineapple.

Amylase enzyme

Amylase is an enzyme that helps us to break down carbohydrates and is produced by our body. Carbohydrates are our body’s favourite energy source and are found in high amounts in fruits, vegetables, potatoes and pasta.

A sign that we may not digest carbohydrates well is that we crave junk foods. This happens because our bodies need a quick energy fix that it’s not receiving from the diet.  We may also become intolerant to carbohydrates, which can appear as bloating, belching and burping after eating a high carbohydrate meal like a pizza or a pasta dish.

Small amounts of amylase can be found naturally in some raw and fermented foods, such as honey. 

Lipase enzyme

Lipase is an enzyme made by our body to digest fat. Fat supports our eye, skin, hormone and brain health. Healthy fat is found in oily foods like salmon, olives, nuts and avocadoes. Some of our most important nutrients, like vitamins A, D, E and K are also oils. So good fat digestion is vital for us to break down and absorb these beneficial fats.

If we do not digest fat properly, we may experience dry hair, skin or nails. Other signs that we are not digesting fats well can include heartburn or burping after eating a fatty meal, or floating stools that are greasy and have a strong-smelling odour to them.

Lipase is found naturally in some foods like Kimchi and Miso. Still, natural sources of lipase are rare and usually, a specialist enzyme supplement will be required to help with fat digestion problems.4. Cellulase

Cellulase is an enzyme that helps us digest fibre from plant sources like fruits and vegetables, which is what makes this enzyme especially important for vegans and vegetarians. Plants are packed full of a wide variety of healthy nutrients and minerals, so digesting them as well as possible is of great benefit for our health. 

Cellulase is not made naturally by the body, so if we are experiencing problems, such as wind and bloating, after eating vegetables we need to take cellulase in a supplement form. 

Alpha Galactosidase Enzyme

This is one of the less well-known enzymes that helps us to digest the complex carbohydrates found in cruciferous vegetables and beans, so once again very important for vegans and vegetarians. Alpha Galactosidase comes in very handy as digestive support if we are experiencing wind or bloating after eating foods like cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli and beans.

Conclusion

Digestive enzyme supplements work best when they are made from full-spectrum formulas containing multiple digestive enzymes that address every food group.

Look for a vegan digestive enzyme product that uses Thera-blend™ technology. This process carefully selects multiple variants of each digestive enzyme category and then blends them to be effective throughout the entire digestive tract. Most supplemental enzyme formulas are effective or active within a very narrow pH range, so choosing an enzyme formula that will be active throughout the entire digestive tract is essential.  Also, read the ingredients label and avoid products containing fillers such as magnesium stearate, apple pectin or rice starch.

The best enzyme formulas to use are from Enzymedica UK. This company is well known for its enzyme expertise. If you’ve not previously tried a digestive enzyme supplement, she suggests their Digest Gold™ product. This vegan and Kosher supplement is formulated with 13 different digestive enzymes, ATP, Magnesium citrate, phytase and CoQ10, in an easy-to-swallow capsule.

5 ways to detox your body naturally this summer

By Leyla El Moudden

Summer has arrived, and with the sunshine comes the perfect opportunity to take some time to detoxify your body, shed that “extra winter” weight, get your skin glowing and renew your energy levels. In natural terms, detoxification is helping the body process food and waste more effectively whilst nourishing it with a steady flow of fresh nutrients and minerals. By doing this, we increase energy, and vitality, clear the skin and reduce any extra weight accumulated over the winter months. During cold weather, the body is naturally inclined towards heavy, starchy meals to survive what would (in nature) be a time of scarcity of food and resources. When the sunshine arrives, those natural survival instincts turn toward a desire for increased energy, so summer is the perfect time to detox, as the weather is on your side for enjoying lighter, fresh food.

Our bodies are purpose-built for detoxification, yet during winter months, we tend to sabotage our natural detoxification pathways by overloading the body with carbs, sugars, fats, caffeine and alcohol. When the weather is colder, we tend to ‘hunker down indoors’ eating foods less for their nutrient content and more for their comfort factor. In the cold, we usually sweat less and tend to be less active, moving about less, which can slow down our channels of elimination. The result is sluggishness, poor skin tone, low energy levels and that extra soft body fat around our middle. All of these effects can be reduced with a detox program, which aims to give our elimination organs the nutrients they need to manage and clear waste from our bodies more effectively.

The end goal of any detoxification program is to clear the system of toxins that have built up in the body, or more specifically, remove the foods that create inflammation, drinks that dehydrate us and chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides and preservatives that put a huge toxic burden on our organs. An ideal detox program would be part of a weekly or monthly routine, but for many of us, that’s not a realistic goal. Instead, an occasional 10-18 day detox plan is an excellent way to get our metabolism back and revive and rejuvenate our body.

So, let’s get started. What are the key essentials when it comes to a summer detox?

1. Be gentle on yourself

Depending on your current health, undertaking a radical change in eating and drinking such as a detox routine should match your health level. If you do yoga three times a week, swim at the weekends and eat 100% organic food – great! You can probably handle a more intense detox such as 10-days on just juices, bone broths and homemade vegetable soups. If you are a person who is relatively healthy but has been hitting that snack cupboard for the winter and haven’t seen your exercise kit for many months, then giving up processed food, switching to organic foods and using only filtered water as your daily fluid for 18 days will do wonders for your health and mood. 

If you have chronic health issues and struggle with your weight, then I suggest that you find a supportive health practitioner to work with and create a tailor-made detox plan for yourself. As time goes on, and your health improves, so too will your detoxification routine, so for now find a level of detoxification that is achievable for you and work with that.

2. Lighten the diet

Diet is the primary route by which nutrients enter the body.  During a detox, the diet must be as clean as possible. A clean diet is one free of chemicals (that means organic produce where possible), and fresh, colourful and home cooked meals. Aim for five to six different colours of fruits and vegetables on each day of your detox. Enzyme laden fruits such as papaya, pineapple and kiwi fruit are fantastic additions, as they help the body digest and absorb nutrients. If needed, you can make this eating style easier to manage by creating soups, smoothies or juices from your produce. For protein, choose clean meats, such as grass-fed beef, organic chicken or wild caught fish and cook these on a low heat, ideally on a grill or air fryer so you are cooking gently and without using salt and oil. Tastes and flavours can be added using fresh herbs. If you must use salt opt for natural salt that contains many trace elements and minerals such as sea salt, or rock salt.   

3. Rest

Giving the digestive system rest between meals is a must during a detox program, which is why I recommend a 4-hour break between meals, as well as having a strict cut-off time for eating, such as four hours before bedtime.  Remember the importance of sleep, as this is when our detox organs do most of their work, so getting a good night’s sleep is critical for a successful detox.

To enhance the uptake of nutrients and minerals from your food into your system, and particularly if you are over the age of 30, add in a digestive enzyme supplement with each meal, Digest Gold™ from Enzymedica UK will reduce the energy burden of digesting and enhance your nutrient levels after eating and that means more energy!

A detoxing process needs to be supplemented by low-stress levels, so take relaxing breaks when possible. Reduce your exposure to blue lights from electronic equipment such as phones, screens and laptops. Research shows that the average person spends 11 hours each day listening to, watching, reading or interacting with media, and a large percentage of people check their devices 150 times a day. Technology is a tool for us to use, not to be enslaved by it!

4. Drink clean water

Scientists estimate that 60% of the human body is made up of water and our elimination organs need fluid in order to excrete properly. Even mild dehydration can lead to our body systems slowing down, reducing our energy levels, ageing us faster, wrinkling our skin and building up our toxic load.  

Filtered drinking water keeps the natural minerals in the water yet filters out any pollutants and chemicals that may be in the water from the treatment plants or the pipes that carry the water to your home. If you don’t have access to filtered water, it would be worth investing in a filter jug to have as ‘unpolluted as possible water to drink. If you have a reverse osmosis system in your kitchen, this water will have been stripped of all its natural minerals as well as contaminants, so it’s very helpful to make sure that you do include pink Himalayan rock salt or natural sea salt in your diet to put the minerals back in!

5. Support elimination

Our bodies need to get rid of waste to keep us healthy. If we are constipated, bloated or suffering from skin outbreaks these are clear signs that one or more of our channels of elimination is struggling to rid our bodies of waste. We detox naturally by having a bowel movement, urinating and sweating. So gentle exercise to get us moving such as walking, re-bounding (mini trampoline), yoga or Chi-Gong are ideal when we are in a detox phase. Having sessions in a red-light sauna is also greatly beneficial for a good sweating session.  

Another great detoxification trick is ‘dry skin brushing’ before a cool shower. Take a firm, natural bristle shower brush and gently brush your skin whilst it is dry. Start from the feet, brushing in smooth strokes all the way up your legs towards the groin area.  Then from the hands down the arms towards the armpits, across the collar bone, gently around the tender skin of the breasts towards the heart. Include your head and neck, brushing downwards from the top of your head.  Dry skin brushing not only feels great, but it also stimulates your lymphatic system and provides a huge treat for the skin!

In conclusion

Detoxing for health is the act of supporting our elimination systems, taking a break from food and environmental toxins and increasing our nutrients, through a set period of time. Anyone can do it and any level of detoxing will help to leave your body lighter and healthier, so you can really enjoy that new beach outfit waiting for you in the wardrobe!

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